"It is a criminal offense to mail a suspicious material, even if it is nontoxic," Taylor said. "... It did give rise to concern. Unfortunately in today's society, you can't take any chances with these things."

Harrison said Hurt followed decontamination procedures after opening the envelope, including washing thoroughly and changing his clothes, before going home to his family Friday evening.

Hurt is trying to move from Virginia's state Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He is challenging first-term Democrat Tom Perriello for Virginia's 5th Congressional District seat.

The race is one of the nation's most closely watched midterm House races.